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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to learn Japanese grammar absolute beginner. In this video series, you learn basic Japanese grammar patterns and phrases through easy to follow audio and visual cues. Here is what we will cover in this lesson. Ready? Let’s get started.
Naomi: 紅茶を飲みませんか。 (Kōcha o nomimasen ka.)
Peter: Today’s grammar point is, Naomi-sensei?
Naomi: ませんか (masen ka)
Peter: Verb plus ませんか (masen ka) and this phrase is used to extend an invitation. So let’s have an example.
Naomi: 紅茶を飲みませんか。 (Kōcha o nomimasen ka.)
Peter: Would you like to have tea or English tea. In English, it would be – would you like to have some tea but in Japanese, really the literal translation is, want to drink tea. There is no subject in there but of course, it’s implied. So let’s just go through the sentence. First we have the object which is
Naomi: 紅茶 (kōcha)
Peter: Marked by the object marking particle.
Naomi: を (o)
Peter: Followed by
Naomi: 飲みません (nomimasen)
Peter: The negative present polite form of
Naomi: 飲む (nomu)
Peter: To drink. So 飲む (nomu) becomes
Naomi: 飲みません (nomimasen)
Peter: This is followed by
Naomi: か (ka).
Peter: Sentence ending particle indicating a question. So 紅茶を飲みませんか。 (Kōcha o nomimasen ka.)
Naomi: はい。 (Hai.)
Peter: Would you like to have tea
Naomi: 紅茶を飲みませんか。 (Kōcha o nomimasen ka.)
Naomi: 食べましょうか。 (Tabemashō ka.)
Eric: The focus of this lesson is ましょうか (mashō ka) which is used to politely suggest or propose or invite. And this creates a very polite expression that could be used to make a suggestion or proposition or an invitation to someone of higher status. So you could think of it as why don’t we or shall we in English.
Naomi: The formation is quite easy, やさしいです (Yasashii desu.), かんたんですね (Kantan desu ne.). Just attach ましょうか (mashō ka) to the masu stem of a verb.
Eric: Right for example 食べます (tabe masu) is to eat. So drop ます (masu)
Naomi: 食べ (tabe)
Eric: And it’s called the masu stem. Attach ましょうか (mashō ka) to the ます (masu) stem.
Naomi: 食べましょうか。 (Tabemashō ka.)
Eric: Shall we eat.
Naomi: 行きます (ikimasu)
Eric: Is to go. Shall we go?
Naomi: 行きましょうか。 (Ikimashō ka.) 聞きます (kikimasu)
Eric: Is to listen. Shall we listen?
Naomi: 聞きましょうか。 (Ikimashō ka.)
Eric: What’s to do?
Naomi: します (shimasu)
Eric: Shall we do?
Naomi: しましょうか。 (shimashō ka.)
Eric: Okay Naomi Sensei, shall we finish?
Naomi: 終わりましょう! (Owarimashō!)
Naomi: 食べましょうか。 (Tabemashō ka.)
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user profile picture
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Practice making your own sentences here, and let us know if you have any questions! :)


user profile picture
May 2nd, 2019 at 8:31 am
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Good Morning,

I'd like to ask if there will be a violation in Japanese grammar if I use ます instead of ません? For example.

明日私と一緒に映画に行きますか? instead of 明日私と一緒に映画に行きませんか?

If there will be, is there any difference between this two?

Thank you!

user profile picture
March 12th, 2019 at 9:22 am
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Hi Max,

コメントありがとうございます。Thank you for your comment.

Your sentences are great!

Please take care the spelling of ましょう, which needs う at the end. 😉

If you have any questions, please let us know.


Team JapanesePod101.com

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January 22nd, 2019 at 5:48 am
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村上 春樹を読みませんか。



user profile picture
October 15th, 2018 at 3:12 pm
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こんにちは。I'm so sorry for the late reply!


I'd love to talk with you in English over tea, watching your dog!

The verb "nomimasu" is written as 飲みます:)

Keep up the good work!

>Amber Limさん

こんにちは。I'm so sorry for the late reply!

That's a good question!

Yes, there's a difference in nuance between -ますか and -ませんか to invite someone to do something.

-ますか sounds a bit direct to ask if he/she wants to do something. So you can use this expression to your close friend.

-ませんか gives him/her more consideration to invite, asking if he/she'd like to do something. It sounds more polite.

And to your another question, we usually write "arigatō" in hiragana, as in ありがとう.

Hope this helps!



Team JapanesePod101.com

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Amber Lim
July 15th, 2018 at 12:51 am
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What are the nuances between -ますかand -ませんか? Can you use them interchangeably as you wish, or are there certain situations one is preferable over the other? As in like in English, sometimes using "..., don't you?" instead of "do you...?" can make a sentence sound ruder or insinuating. Is it the same w/ Japanese?

ありがとう(btw does japanese normally write arigatou in kanji or hiragana?)

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June 11th, 2018 at 8:05 am
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user profile picture
July 27th, 2017 at 2:33 pm
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> Maikeru-san,


First, I'm super sorry that no one has replied to your post until now...?

Glad to know you've been enjoying our lessons. Hopefully, you still are!

Please feel free to ask us any questions and/or if you need more examples etc.

To clarify your problem/question, 'ikimasu' is right in that sentence.

The particles are often confusing when it comes to the pronunciations of them, because

they take special readings of hiragana and they are ones of very few exceptions of hiragana readings.

Hope this helps!

> Red-san,

konnichiwa! ?

Japanese sentences for those would be:

1. Kono o-cha/koucha o nomimasu ka. (Would you like to have this tea?)

2. Kore o tabemashou ka. (Shall we eat this?)

Hope this answers to your question!

> ブリューさん、


Different verbs take different particles depending on the nature of the verbs

or rather, the nature of action. The verb 会います (aimasu) takes で when it needs to

indicate the place of meeting.

When indicating the place where action and/or event is taken or held, the place is indicated by the

particle で whilst に can indicate the place of destination, existence, etc.

レストランで食べます。Restoran DE tabemasu. (= I eat at a restaurant.)

レストランにいます。Restoran NI arimasu. (= I'm at a restaurant.)

As you see above, the place is 'restaurant' in both sentences, but the first sentence takes the verb of action (= to eat)

whilst the second indicates whereabouts/existence.

Hope this helps!

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

user profile picture
July 20th, 2017 at 5:53 am
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Hi !

From the lesson notes :

1時に 駅の前で 会いませんか。

Ichi-ji ni eki no mae de aimasen ka?

Why don't we meet in front of the station at 1:00?

Why "Ichi-ji ni eki no mae de aimasen ka?"

and not "Ichi-ji ni eki no mae ni aimasen ka?"

Why is the particle "DE" used to caracterize a place instead of "NI" ?

Arigatou !

user profile picture
June 17th, 2017 at 12:25 pm
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How do you apply this with different question sentences adding ko-so-a-do words?


1. Would you like to have this tea? or

2. Shall we eat this?


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November 25th, 2016 at 11:14 pm
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Heya i'm enjoying the series, I know these videos are made from past audio pod casts that you's have done,

They are really good but they're too short :(

I have been writing them out and will have to continue to do so many times until it sticks.

But re-watching can be a drag because they're too short and before i've learnt something you's have moved to the next thing, I can't even explain correctly what I mean because I can't remember what i've just watched :(

Now i'm not really blaming you's for this, I've always been a slow learner, slow reader & a slow writer.

That's why i'm asking you to drag out the topics with more examples more break downs more reasoning.

Anyway loving the series, shame it's over, you's should do more videos like this from your past audio lessons,

One problem I can point out from audio lessons vs these video lessons is,

watashi wa tokyo eki e ikimasu

i'm going to tokyo station

ikimasu is probably wrong or more things

The sentence structure I learnt from collins university easy learning japanese cd

In it, it never explained that e would be written as "he" or wa as "ha" and o as "wo"

The video lessons of audio lessons is good because even if it's no explained using vocabulary I could learn that from seeing it.

Another thing I should hopefully never forget is the kanji for watashi thanks to your video lessons i've spotted it many times and should hopefully remember permanently, don't stop doing that :)